Like the song says, “Gimme that old time religion.” This month’s Naro Escape is a tale of superstition, paranoia, extortion, sexual predation, torture, rape, and other old time traditional “values,” Michael Armstrong’s Mark Of The Devil.
Premise: a town at the mercy of a brutal, sadistic witchfinder (as opposed to, y’know, the kindly, gentle ones) named, strangely, Albino (Reggie Nalder). The witch hysteria has reached the point that the church has decided the merely local witchfinders are no longer sufficient.
Enter Christian Von Meruh (of course his name is Christian) played by a very young and mind-numbingly emotionless Udo Kier. Christian has come to facilitate the arrival of his mentor, the church’s infamous witchfinder, Lord Cumberland (Herbert Lom).
Christian asserts his position and the will of the church almost immediately. When Vanessa (Olivera), the raven-haired tavern keeper, defends herself from the Albino’s molestations, she is accused of witchcraft. Gosh. Didn’t see that coming.
Six times. Say it. I dare you.
As I’ve said previously, I like to follow the indie films and filmmakers that come my way on The Twitter. Some I follow on my own. Some I follow back because they followed me. Pretty standard.
Also pretty standard, for me anyway, is that if someone follows me, I send a message along the lines of, “Thanks for following. Hope you check out Blogferatu.com.” Often that’s the end of it.
In the case of Dark Libra Films, I got a message back asking if I’d like to review Bloody Mary: Possession. Now, when I reviewed Commune, I sought them out. This is the first time anyone’s approached me.
I love podcasts. More often than not, I hear about something I otherwise may not have.
Something like Black Mountain Side.
Back in January, the guys at The What Cast (Mateo, Mike, and Aldo) interviewed Michael Dickson. An interesting discussion ensued. Dickson, it turns out, knows his Lovecraft, and it was his description of the movie in that context that got me really curious.
Right up front, I gotta warn you. First, spoilers.
Second, don’t expect the plowing of virgin soil. Some archaeological/scholarly types find something better left unfound and are driven insane. In this case, that something is part of a possible altar or temple.
Pretty standardly Lovecraftian premise.
There does exist an element of infection/contamination, ideas we’ve seen before not only in The Thing, but in X Files, 28 Days Later, hell even Planet Of The Vampires.
Cross The Shining with Jaume Balagueró’s To Let. Toss in some creepified fairy tale references then strip the whole thing bare.
You may very well end up with something like Tom Perrett’s Commune.
Here’s how this started.
Blogferatu has a page on The Twitter. We’re all in this together, so I follow many of the blogs, podcasts, indie authors, and indie films/filmmakers I come across. Pretty much as a matter of course, I followed Commune.
I am so glad I did.